Club offers fun for entire family

For the Anderson family of Oak Harbor, there’s no better past time than the sport of archery.

In 2003 alone, father Matt and daughters Olivia and Sara have taken home a combined three national titles, 11 state titles and have had six top five finishes.

Olivia, who is only 13, is already a five-time national champion and is well known in her sport. She immediately took an interest to archery after watching her dad compete a few years ago.

“I like it,” she said. “I went to a couple of tournaments with him and it seemed like fun and there was a lot of competition.”

The fact that she was a natural at handling the bow may have also played a large part in her liking the sport so much.

“She picked up a bow and said, ‘wow, this looks easy,’” Matt said. “She didn’t lose a tournament event for two and a half years.”

In her three years of competing, Olivia has been offered chances to try out for the Junior Olympics and the ESPN Great Outdoor Games. She has had to decline thus far due to financial reasons.

“It’s just a money thing,” Matt said. “We spend a lot of money going around the country and it’s really expensive.”

Sara, who is nine, has competed in the sport for the last two years and is having a blast just like her older sister.

“I like that you get to meet new people and you get to see some of the people you already know from other tournaments,” she said.

Sara has won two national titles this year and four state titles.

Although both of his children are finding success, Matt, who is the range master at the Whidbey Bowmans' Club, would like to get more kids introduced to the sport locally.

“The biggest thing is we’re trying to get more and more kids involved,” he said.

The Whidbey Bowmans' Club, which is located in the woods just off Rocky Point, allows for people of all ages to join.

“As far as kids go they can join, but we need an adult to supervise anyone under the age of 18,” Anderson said.

According to Anderson, once a person becomes more involved in archery it can get pretty expensive, but kids can start out for a reasonable price.

“Kids can get started fairly cheap, they just need an avenue and to see other kids doing it,” he said.

The club provides its current 100 members ample opportunity to improve their skills with 15 acres of walk-through course and 40 targets.

“This is one of the top courses in the state as far as safety and quality and the view is awesome,” Anderson said.

Not only does the club have one of the best layouts in the state, but it also has one of the best deals as far as cost goes.

“Most clubs charge $200 a year to be a member of their club, but because the Navy lets us use this property we don’t have any overhead hardly,” Anderson said.

For a single person it is $25 a year to join and for a family it is $35.

The club annually holds four tournaments of its own and will be vying for the next state 3D tournament.

Anyone interested in archery can come to the club benefit and barbeque from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, August 16 at the Whidbey Island Bowmans' Club located off of Rocky Point Road. Members and family will get a free meal and a chance at prizes, but the public are welcome to walk around the facilities, ask questions and see what they have to offer.

“We’d like people to come out and see what the club’s all about,” Anderson said.

Those wanting more information about the barbeque or interested in lessons can contact Matt Anderson at 240-1793.

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